Friday, 4 November 2011

Honey, I’m home...

I’m pleased to say that I have now safely returned from a most enjoyable sojourn in China – a month spent travelling to some new places, revisiting some old places, spending some quality time with my wife’s side of the family (which of course has meant being treated to lots of delicious food and drinking a little too much Maotai), and generally enjoying the wonderful hospitality that the Chinese people never fail to extend.  I anticipate writing a few new travel posts in the near future, particularly regarding the ten days we spent in Xinjiang province, seeing the gorgeous mountains, deserts, lakes, rock art and museums.

So what has been happening in the world while I’ve been away?

Almost as soon as I left, City parted company with manager Steve Tilson – an act becoming more inevitable with each passing match.  He has been replaced by former Watford centre half David Holdsworth, who has previously been manager of Ilkeston and Mansfield.  Despite not having masses of managerial experience, it is hoped that he is the manager to instil some fight into the team, and make us much harder to beat.  The sacking of Tilson will undoubtedly have drained City’s meagre coffers  even further, so Holdsworth will have to be canny to strengthen the team – though he has acted quickly to bring in a goalkeeper and a winger on loan.  It was sad to hear on my return that even City’s office staff are being asked if they will take voluntary redundancy.  The financial situation at the club is indeed perilous, and we must remain cautious to ensure that the first priority is to ensure that we still have a club to support, no matter what level it is playing at.

On the field, the results have failed to improve.  A win against Fleetwood (ironically while managerless) has been followed by defeat away at Cambridge and a home draw against Mansfield.  City also managed to continue their pathetic FA Cup record, by failing to even reach the first round proper – losing out to the mighty Alfreton (below City in the league) after a replay.  The league results mean that City still occupy the top relegation place – so much for my hopes of a revival in my absence!

Staying in the footballing world, I did manage to catch the Manchester derby while in China, though I care nothing for either club.  One thing that did occur to me, though, was how much Manchester United keeper David De Gea looks like the kid in the film Jumanji when he turns into the monkey!

Away from football, the world has been an interesting place in the last month.  The Libyan situation came to a head with the slightly mysterious demise of Colonel Gaddafi, both Turkey and Thailand have sadly felt the wrath of nature, and the world’s population has reached a milestone of 7 billion, though we said goodbye to Jimmy Saville.  All in all a fairly eventful few weeks.

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